Kantian Ethics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-12-10
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Allen Wood investigates Kant's conception of ethical theory, using it to develop a viable approach to the rights and moral duties of human beings. By remaining closer to Kant's own view of the aims of ethics, Wood's understanding of Kantian ethics differs from the received 'constructivist' interpretation, especially on such matters as the ground and function of ethical principles, the nature of ethical reasoning and autonomy as the ground of ethics. Wood does not hesitate to criticize and modify Kant's conclusions when they seem inconsistent with his basic principles or fail to make the best use of the resources Kantian principles make available. Of special interest are the book's treatment of such topics as freedom of the will, the state's role in securing economic justice, sexual morality, the justification of punishment, and the prohibition on lying.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xv
Reasonp. 1
What Is Kantian Ethics?p. 1
Human Naturep. 4
Gender and Racep. 6
Rationalismp. 12
Norms of Reasonp. 20
Moral Worthp. 24
Acting from Dutyp. 25
Good Willp. 31
The Duty to Act from Dutyp. 33
Duty, Feeling, and Desirep. 34
Kant's Aims in the First Section of the Groundworkp. 41
Ethical Theoryp. 43
The "Intuitional" or "Scientific" Modelp. 43
Doubts about this Modelp. 47
The "Foundational" or "Philosophical" Modelp. 54
The First Principle - Moral Rules or Duties - Moral Judgmentp. 60
The Moral Lawp. 66
The Concept of a Categorical Imperativep. 67
Kant's Systematic Presentation of the Supreme Principle of Moralityp. 68
Relations among the Formulasp. 79
The "Universal Formula"p. 82
Humanityp. 85
What Is an End in Itself?p. 85
Humanity Is an End in Itselfp. 88
The Dignity of Humanityp. 94
The Personhood of Human Beingsp. 95
The Moral Status of Nonrational Animalsp. 101
Autonomyp. 106
Tensions within the Idea of Autonomyp. 106
Positive and Natural Lawp. 108
The Author and Legislator of the Moral Lawp. 111
The Nature of the Willp. 114
How the Will Legislates to Itselfp. 116
Freedomp. 123
Practical Freedomp. 124
Acting for Reasonsp. 127
Autonomy and Freedomp. 129
The Fact of Reasonp. 134
Noumenal Freedomp. 135
How to Think about Freedomp. 138
Virtuep. 142
Actions and Agentsp. 142
Virtue as Strengthp. 143
Virtue and Temperamentp. 146
Virtue, Duty, and Continencep. 148
Practical Judgment and Wisdomp. 152
Ideals and Principlesp. 154
Dutiesp. 158
Kant's Concept of Dutyp. 158
The System of Dutiesp. 161
The Principle of Ethical Dutiesp. 166
Duties to Oneselfp. 170
Duties of Love and Respectp. 175
Consciencep. 182
Conscience as Feelingp. 183
The Inner Courtp. 184
Conscience, Guilt, and Punishmentp. 187
The Duty of Self-Knowledgep. 189
Social Justicep. 193
Taxing the Rich to Support the Poorp. 194
General Injusticep. 198
Fichte on Economic Justicep. 200
Kantian Ethics and Economic Rightp. 203
Punishmentp. 206
What Is Retributivism?p. 208
Kant's Best Justification of Punishmentp. 213
Punishment and Universal Lawp. 216
Is Retributivism Consistent with Kantian Ethics?p. 219
Sexp. 224
Sexual Desirep. 224
The Subjection of Womenp. 228
The Meaning of the Figleafp. 230
Kant's Defense of Marriagep. 234
Liesp. 240
Intentionally False Declarationsp. 240
Kant and Constantp. 244
Truthfulness as an Ethical Duty to Oneselfp. 251
The Inner Liep. 255
Consequencesp. 259
Kantian Ethics vs. "Consequentialism"p. 259
Good versus Evilp. 269
The Limits of Ethical Theoryp. 271
Notesp. 275
Indexp. 335
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